Call of the Nightingale - Book Review

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Book Review of :  Call of the Nightingale


Call of the Nightingale, by Oliver Dean Spencer, an international crime fiction writer. Murder, mayhem, suspense, and humor are a rare combination in a crime thriller, but Spencer has risen to the task. Florescent green glowing rabbits and the Green Hornet and Kato add to the unlikelihood that PI James Cartwright, a Detroit ex-cop, will be able to discover who murdered seventeen-year-old Alice's grandfather.

The mystery begins with a Prologue that introduces the victim, a retired genetic scientist, as he reminisces about his life's work. The old man's granddaughter is arrested for his knifing murder and taken to jail. She pulls a business card from her pocket and insists on talking to James Cartwright about her grandfather's death.

After listening to Alice's plead for help, James commits to investigating the murder but requires transportation. Enter Jason, the cabby who becomes James' trusted partner in his quest for justice. While conducting his investigation, James' reliance on taxis as his primary mode of transportation evokes the spirit of Michael Connelly's famous Lincoln Lawyer, who conducted business from the backseat of his Lincoln. Rest assured, James is just as determined and resourceful as his literary counterpart and will stop at nothing to uncover the truth.

As the two detectives hunt for Grandpa's murder, they discover a murdered nurse, run-of-the-mill terrorists, as well as political and professional disinformation, conspiracy theories, and a quest for a magic formula.

The writer's clever wit shines through in Cartwright's use of wordplay and cheeky retorts to the Police Chief. The blend of serious crime and lighthearted humor creates a satisfying reading experience. In describing Jason's appearance in the hospital, the author paints a vivid picture of tubes and electrodes protruding from his body, making him look like a combination of man, machine, and sea creature. It's as if he's been resurrected like a modern-day Frankenstein.

James and Jason have stumbled upon an alarming truth – they're entangled with dangerous foreign gangs. One group with a tiger tattoo, while the other sports a dragon. The investigation has escalated to an international level, and the IPP (Investigation into Paranormal Phenomena) has joined the team. What's at stake? Is it a secret formula for immortality, the driving force behind these heinous crimes?

It is a thrilling journey as the plot unfurls the age-old dichotomy of good versus evil, light against dark, and right opposed to wrong. Align yourself with our protagonist Cartwright, a mastermind with unmatched deductive powers, as he clashes with the Suits in Black, federal agents, and the local police force. Brace yourself for an epic battle between superheroes and arch-villains in a world of contradiction and paradox.

Uncover unexpected links between beloved tales such as Alice in Wonderland, The Green Hornet, and Spencer's characters. Brace yourself for a twist-filled plot, complete with deadly surprises, gunfights, and kidnappings that will have readers on the edge of their seats.

Look for Spencer's other published crime fiction and an upcoming speculative dark short fiction collection.    

Reviewed by: Carole

About Oliver Dean Spencer


OLIVER DEAN SPENCER is an international crime fiction writer and artist, who spends his time between Rome, Italy, and Montreal, Canada. To date, he's published three novels as part of the James Cartwright PI series through Original Press: The Spencer Files (Book 1), Call of the Nightingale (Book 2), and Case of the Runaway Orangutan (Book 3), including The Crossing, (Book 1) from the Devon West Mystery Series. He is presently working on a collection of short, speculative, dark fiction entitled Tales from the PI Caf, as well as BADMAN (case of the) the 4th in the Cartwright Series and The Fool's Overture (Book 2 in the Devon West Mystery Series). Spencer received his MFA in Visual Arts from the University of Ottawa (2010) and his BFA in Fine Arts from Concordia University, Montreal (2008). When Spencer's not writing he spends his time with his daughter or playing chess at a local cafe and painting.

Visit for more information on Oliver Dean Spencer


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